PERSONAL: Married Barbara Bauer (a writer; divorced).
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House/Crown, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
(With Bill Lee) The Bartender's Guide to Baseball, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1981.
(With Bill Lee) The Wrong Stuff, Viking (New York, NY), 1984.
Pinstriped Summers: Memories of Yankee Seasons Past, Arbor House (New York, NY), 1985.
Chicago Clubs (collectors edition), Bonanza Books (New York, NY), 1991.
Boston Red Sox (collectors edition), Bonanza Books (New York, NY), 1991.
(With Joe Morgan) Long Balls, No Strikes: What Baseball Must Do to Keep the Good Times Rolling, Crown (New York, NY), 1999.
Bombers: An Oral History of the New York Yankees, Crown (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Bill Lee) Have Glove, Will Travel: The Adventures of a Baseball Vagabond, Crown (New York, NY), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Sports writer Richard Lally focusses much of his efforts on his main passion: baseball. After collaborating with former pro player Bill Lee on Lee's autobiography, The Wrong Stuff, Lally wrote Pinstriped Summers: Memories of Yankee Seasons Past, a book that focuses on the team's history from the time the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) bought the team in 1965 until the 1982 season. During this period, the Yankees experienced great success, winning four American League pennants and two World Series. They also experience "down" years, including a last-place finish in 1966. Lawrence S. Ritter wrote in the New York Times Book Review that Lally "provides a useful bird's-eye view of these eighteen years and puts batter Reggie Jackson and team manager Billy Martin in perspective against the background of their predecessors." Writing in Publishers Weekly, Genevieve Stuttaford noted that "Yankee fans may love every line of it; others will find it far too uncritical." A Kirkus Reviews contributor said the book is "fueled by various passions (including scorn for the Yankee management and envy of Baltimore's) and the prose has zip enough." Library Journal contributor Jo DeLapo praised Lally's attention to players of the late 1960s and early 1970s, including Roger Maris, Joe Pepitone, Clete Boyer, and an ageing Mickey Mantle, wrote that these are the players "many of us knew and loved, and their story has been neglected for too long."
In Long Balls, No Strikes: What Baseball Must Do to Keep the Good Times Rolling Lally collaborates with former player-turned-television commentator Joe Morgan to discuss the growing popularity of baseball during the 1998 season as the home-run competition to break Roger Maris's record grew between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa. The book also suggests changes to the sport, including increasing the number of blacks in management, seeking new talent in the inner cities, and having teams share profits equally. The authors argue that "the home run won't save the game on its own," wrote Wes Lukowsky in Booklist, dubbing the effort "a fine book." However, Alan Schwartz, writing in the New York Times Book Review, felt that Long Balls, No Strikes contains too many "blatant banalities" that "result in … belittling readers rather than enlightening them." In a review for the San Francisco Chronicle, Casey Tefertiller called the book "provocative and entertaining," adding that, "most of all, it makes the reader want to talk about baseball, and there can be no higher recommendation."
Lalley turned his focus to the Yankees once again with his book Bombers: An Oral History of the New York Yankees, this time covering the team from Babe Ruth's arrival in 1920 to the 2000 World Series championship team. In an interview with Lally on ESPN.com, Rob Neyer pointed out that many books have been written about the Yankees and asked how Lally avoids the pitfall of rehashing old stories. "To make the cut for the book, a story had to offer a fresh perspective on an event or player," Lally explained. A Kirkus Reviews contributor pointed out that stories focusing on the World Series take up most of Bombers, noting that they are "told with a touch of spicy mustard." Paul Kaplan and Robert C. Cottrell, writing in Library Journal, praising the book as "sprinkled with insightful analyses," while Booklist contributor GraceAnne A. DeCandido wrote that "Lally is a fine editor and writer, evidenced in his choice and arrangement of quotes and in his own analysis and focus."
Nearly twenty years after their first collaboration, Lally once again teamed up with Bill Lee to write Have Glove, Will Travel: The Adventures of a Baseball Vagabond. In this sequel to The Wrong Stuff the coauthors focus not only on Lee's time in the majors but also on his experiences after he left the limelight to play on both the senior circuit and in exhibition leagues, as well as his time conducting baseball clinics in Canada. A Kirkus Reviews contributor commented that the authors are "supreme at conveying the pure joy of playing baseball." Writing in Publishers Weekly, a reviewer called the book "a thoughtful and droll journal of an itinerant journeyman, content to ply his trade for whatever he can get out of the experience."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 1999, Wes Lukowsky, review of Long Balls, No Strikes: What Baseball Must Do to Keep the Good Times Rolling, p. 2010; February 15, 2002, BraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Bombers: An Oral History of the New York Yankess, p. 984.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 1985, review of Pinstriped Summers: Memories of Yankee Seasons Past, p. 173; January 15, 2002, review of Long Balls, No Strikes, p. 88; December 15, 2004, review of Have Glove, Will Travel: The Adventures of a Baseball Vagabond, p. 1185.
Library Journal, April 15, 1985, Jo DeLapo, review of Pinstriped Summers, p. 83; February 1, 2002, Paul Kaplan and Robert C. Cottrell, review of Bombers, p. 102.
New York Times Book Review, April 7, 1985, Lawrence S. Ritter, review of Pinstriped Summers, p. 15; October 17, 1999, Alan Schwartz, review of Long Balls, No Strikes.
Publishers Weekly, September 3, 1985, review of Pinstriped Summers, p. 75; March 11, 2002, review of Bombers, p. 61; December 20, 2004, review of Have Glove, Will Travel, p. 43.
San Francisco Chronicle, December 12, 1999, Casey Tefertiller, review of Long Balls, No Strikes, p. 7.
School Library Journal, April, 2000, review of Long Balls, No Strikes, p. 161.
ESPN.com, http://www.espn.com/ (May 21, 2002), Rob Neyer, interview with Lally.
NetShrine.com, http://www.netshrine.com/ (March 24, 2003), interview with Lally.